Don Oakley Questions Tax Exemption Benefits for Religions and Churches

Don Oakley Questions Tax Exemption Benefits for Religions and Churches

Separation of Church and State

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Don Oakley writes an editorial that asks difficult questions about defining the nature of religions and churches, especially in light of the benefits which religions and churches receive from tax exemptions.

The context of these questions are the recent raids conducted by the FBI against the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and the complaints from Scientology that they are being persecuted.

Don Oakley explains:

"Keeping the historic wall of separation between church and state in good repair is a difficult enough task. But what do we do when we are not sure what is church, or what is a bona fide religion? ...

Because all taxpayers must indirectly pay for the support of all tax-exempt organizations, it is time we asked ourselves where the mushrooming of groups claiming tax and other preferences on religious grounds might be taking us.

It is also time the government took a long and thoughtful look at its policies regarding the qualifying of organizations for tax-exempt status.

After all, the wall between church and state is designed to protect both parties."


1982 Clearwater Scientology Hearings — Edward Walter 1/2 — Day 1

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